Why should Southampton sell Charlie Austin and buy another striker
Southampton have made an underwhelming start to the season, winning just one of the 10 league games played. Scoring goals has been their perennial issue, and they’ve netted just six goals this campaign so far, which shows how far they have fallen behind in this aspect of the game.
At the end of the day, football is a game where goals need to be scored if a team aspires to win games and stay in one of the best leagues in the world. And Southampton have struggled to do that in the past few seasons.
They narrowly escaped relegation last season, scoring only 37 goals in 38 games. That is not even one goal per game on an average. It simultaneously epitomises their strength in the defence though, which did enough to keep them up last season.
However, the case in point here is the way Saints go about their business in the opposition box. Have they got the ruthless strikers who can score enough goals to lift this team up in the middle half of the table? ‘No’ is the simple answer, which is sad from Southampton’s point of view.
Danny Ings is probably the one who falls in a slightly better bracket, having scored three goals this season.
Apart from him, Charlie Austin, Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini just don’t seem to fit the bill. All three are yet to score a goal in the league this season and Mark Hughes has given the opportunity to each one of them.
The plausible solution now is to offload any one of these strikers and sign a new ruthless goal-scorer. The pointer goes towards Austin because he has been prone to injuries in the past. He missed 18 games last season and 26 prior to that.
Hence, it is clear that the 29-year-old is not capable of playing 80% of the games and shoulder the scoring responsibility. Furthermore, he has already missed three big chances offered to him, including one penalty howler.
Therefore, Mark Hughes and his men can sell Austin in January, get some funds, inject a bit more and buy a dependable striker. As an option, they can look at the Liverpool duo of Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke, both of whom are starving for game time at Anfield.
The former was lethal before his serious injury during the 2015/16 season. Ergo, if the Belgian gets game time on a regular basis, he can regain his scoring touch, because the quality is there. He just requires the manager’s faith and things can go well for him.